Biomedical waste disposal not a worry for COVID care centres

With extremely contagious biomedical waste getting generated at all coronavirus disease (COVID-19) care centres in the State, the Indian Medical Association Goes Eco-Friendly (IMAGE) is reaching out to each such centre to safely dispose of the refuse.

Gloves, masks, incubating tubes, and personal protection equipment make the bulk of the waste besides other materials such as cotton wool and syringes.

With the lockdown in place, the daily collection of biomedical waste from other hospitals has come down by about 25%, according to IMAGE. The government has provided permission for movement of IMAGE vehicles. IMAGE is now collecting 42 to 43 tonnes of biomedical waste daily, which include about 1,200 bags from COVID care centres. Each bag weighs about 4 kgs.

“COVID centre waste is collected in separate vehicles as mixing it with other biomedical waste would create issues in safe disposal,” said Dr. Sharafudheen K.P., secretary, IMAGE -CBWTF (Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility). Of the 58 vehicles that are collecting waste from hospitals across the State, eight were exclusively for waste generated at COVID care centres, he said. IMAGE is now collecting waste from 63 COVID care centres in the State.

“The amount of waste depends upon the number of patients in the centres...All biomedical waste from these centres is incinerated,” said Dr. Sharafudheen.

IMAGE is also maintaining a register of employees, vehicle drivers and supervisors who deal with waste from COVID centres and their activities.

IMAGE started collecting waste from COVID centres on March 19. On the first day, 86 barrels of waste were collected from 35 COVID care centres. There were 465 bags in these barrels. On March 27, 1,127 bags from 193 barrels were collected from 55 COVID care centres, while on Sunday, 1,042 bags from 168 barrels were collected from 61 centres.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 3:42:25 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/biomedical-waste-disposal-not-a-worry-for-covid-care-centres/article31220035.ece